Drumstick Layer Cake

This Drumstick Layer Cake is inspired by one of my favorites – drumstick ice cream cones! With layers of moist vanilla cake, caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream, peanuts and waffle cone pieces, it combines the best parts of a drumstick into one tasty cake!

Drumstick Layer Cake collage - slice of cake and full cake

Dreamy Drumstick Layer Cake

As far as store but ice cream treats go, drumsticks are a big favorite in our house. They were a big favorite of mine growing up and the hubs still enjoys them quite regularly. In fact it’s on my grocery list right now to get another box at the store.

The drumsticks with the caramel in the center are my favorite, since I’m such a big lover of all things caramel. So when I decided to make a drumstick cake, I decided I had to include the caramel core. So we’ve got vanilla buttercream in place of a ice cream, caramel filling, chocolate filling in place of the chocolate in the bottom of the cone on and on the outside of the ice cream, and plenty of peanuts in place of those on the outside of the ice cream cone. So fun and yummy!

How to Make this Drumstick Layer Cake

To get started making this Drumstick Layer Cake, you want to make the caramel sauce. I shared a new caramel sauce a few days ago and that is what I used in this recipe. It’s a delicious and straight forward caramel sauce that can be made up to two weeks ahead of making this cake. Don’t you love it when steps can be done ahead of time?

When you have your caramel sauce ready, you can make the vanilla cake layers. I used my Moist Vanilla Layer Cake, with one slight difference. I added some extra vegetable oil to the cake to make it even more moist. And in order to have more layers of filling, I baked the cake in two cake pans and then split them into four cake layers with three filling layers. More filling is always better.

Close up of full drumstick layer cakeslice of cake with a bite taken out

In addition to the layer of caramel filling, there’s the chocolate filling layer. It’s made with chocolate ganache and topped with some peanut and waffle cone crunchies. The crunchies are SO yummy! To make them, combine some crushed up sugar cones, a little sugar and salt, and melted butter. Toast it in the oven a bit, then crumble it all up and add some chopped peanuts. It’s got great flavor and toasting it helps it keep it’s crunch inside the cake.

The cake is covered with vanilla frosting and has some mixed in with the caramel layer as well. Once the frosting and everything else is made, it’s time to build the cake!

Once the cake is put together, it’s decorated as a chocolate drip cake with some sugar cones dipped in chocolate and place on top to look like melted drumsticks that are upside down. Sprinkle more of the sugar cone and peanut crunchies on top of the cake to finish it off. Such a fun way to decorate a cake and give a little teaser of what you’re going to find on the inside!

With all the layers and parts, this Drumstick Layer Cake is a little bit of a doozie in terms of time to make it, but the final result is SUCH a fun and tasty cake! Definitely perfect for a special occasion or a summer birthday! I hope you enjoy it!

full sized image of whole cake on a cake standslice of drumstick layer cake

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Image of Drumstick Layer Cake recipe

Drumstick Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven/Stove
  • Cuisine: American


This Drumstick Layer Cake is inspired by one of my favorites – drumstick ice cream cones! With layers of moist vanilla cake, caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream, peanuts and waffle cone pieces, it combines the best parts of a drumstick into one tasty cake!



Vanilla Cake Layers

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 2 oz (about 6 tbsp) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) heavy whipping cream

Sugar Cone and Peanut Crunchies

  • 1 cup sugar cone crumbs
  • 2 tbsp (26g) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (140g) peanuts, chopped

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) salted butter
  • 1 cup (189g) shortening
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp (ml) water or milk

Cake Topping

  • 6 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 sugar cones


1. Prepare the caramel sauce according to the directions in that recipe. The caramel sauce can be made up to two weeks ahead. When you’re ready to build the cake, I’d suggest letting the caramel sit out to get to room temperature so that it’s spreadable.
2. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
4. Add the butter, sugar, oil and vanilla extract to and large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
7. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter will look curdled, but that’s ok.
8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
9. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 32-36 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
11. To make the chocolate ganache filling, add the chocolate chips to a small bowl.
12. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
13. Put the ganache in the fridge to firm up a bit so that it’s firmer but still spreadable.
14. To make the crunchies, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Combine the sugar cone crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter and toss until well coated.
15. Spread the mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden.
16. Remove from the oven and use a fork or something similar to toss the mixture and break it up, then set aside to cool.
17. Once cooled, add the chopped peanuts and combine. Set aside.
18. To make the vanilla buttercream, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
19. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
20. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth.
21. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional water or milk, as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
22. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Next, cut each cake horizontally to make 4 layers of cake total. See my tutorial for leveling and torting a cake for additional help.
23. To build the cake, place the first layer of cake on a cardboard cake circle or a serving platter.
24. Spread about 1/2 a cup of vanilla buttercream into an even layer on top of the cake layer, then use the frosting to create a dam around the outer edge of the cake. See my tutorial on how to build a cake for more guidance (I actually used this cake for the tutorial, so the pictures are quite helpful).
25. Spread about 1/2 a cup of caramel sauce into an even layer in the middle of the dam of frosting, then level out the dam and caramel sauce so that it’s all an even layer.
26. Add another layer of cake on top of the caramel sauce. For help moving cake layers around, I like to use a cake lifter.
27. Pipe another dam of frosting around the edge of the cake, then fill it with the chocolate ganache and spread into an even layer.
28. Sprinkle an even layer of the sugar cone/peanut crunchies over the chocolate ganache.
29. Add the third layer of cake, then repeat another layer of vanilla buttercream, a dam around the outer edge and another 1/2 cup of caramel sauce (the same as steps 24-25).
30. Add the final layer of cake on top, then frost the outside of the cake with the remaining vanilla buttercream. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
31. To decorate the cake, add the chocolate chips for the topping to a medium bowl.
32. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
33. Dip the sugar cones into the chocolate one by one and then add the to the top of the cake.
34. Use the remaining chocolate ganache to create a drip around the sides of the cake, then fill in the top. Refer to my tutorial for making a chocolate drip cake, if needed.
35. Finish off the cake with the remaining sugar cone/peanut crunchies.
36. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve, then let sit out for 1-2 hours before serving. Cake is best when stored well covered in the fridge. Best if eaten within 2-3 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 1201
  • Sugar: 113.7 g
  • Sodium: 608.8 mg
  • Fat: 71.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 135.5 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 154 mg

Keywords: layer cake, layer cake recipe, vanilla cake, vanilla cake recipe, homemade vanilla cake, caramel cake recipe, chocolate ganache filling, vanilla buttercream, vanilla buttercream frosting

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Recipe rating

  1. Anne Jernigan

    This cake was over the top -I brought it to a baby shower and it was gone within 20 minutes! 2 people told me it was the best cake they had ever eaten!!!! It was time consuming but so worth it!!! I will definitely be making this again! Thank you Lindsay-your detailed instructions are incredible!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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